Merciful heart: Alive in being in solidarity with others

We recently released our most recent issue of The Brown Prophets, the official publication of the student friars of the Order of Carmelites (O.Carm.) in the Philippines, Province of Blessed Titus Brandsma.

The Brown Prophets, Vol.8 No. 2 by Tribo's Cup

Introduction to this issue of The Brown Prophets
Mercy is more than just a word. It is more than just a feeling that one gets at looking at a more disadvantaged person.

Mercy is a virtue that requires action.

Mercy without action is not mercy. It is pride. It is arrogance. It is not Christian.

As we usher in the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, we are reminded by our dear Papa Francesco of God's infinite mercy. He said in his homily which announced the Holy Year of Mercy (March 13, 2015), "He really is 'rich in mercy' and extends His mercy with abundance over those who turn to Him with a sincere heart."

In this issue of Brown Prophets, we explore the many opportunities that our Carmelite brothers in the scholastic communities of St. Elijah and St. Elisha, explored, experienced, and shared God's mercy with the people they come into contact with – be they their fellow Carmelite brothers, their fellow students at the Inter-Congregational Theological Center (ICTC), their fellow seminarians and religious from different congregations, or the people in their different apostolate areas and ministries.

Here we see the richness of God's mercy as reflected in our Carmelite brothers' journey. First, we hear from Br. Paul Rey who reflects on his experience with the sick of the University of the Philippine's Philippine General Hospital. Br. Marvin then shares his reflections on Laudato Si', Pope Francis' most recent encyclical on the environment, while Br. Mike shares his journey back to Carmel.

And then we find Br. Nice sharing his experience on Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines last January 16, while Br. Mannie shares his story on their transfer to the depressed community of Pureza in Sta. Mesa, Manila. Living with the poor is part of the Philippine Carmelites' initial formation program.

Br. Clark also shares his experience on the last gathering of Carmelite formands, exploring the theme of brotherhood, while Br. Vinson shares his experience with abandoned children when he was made to immerse at Bahay at Yaman ni San Martin de Porres in Bustos, Bulacan, as part of his theology studies in ICTC, and Br. Joiezl recalls the day when he finally professed his vows for the first time as a Carmelite brother, sharing with us snippets of his very long journey.

Lastly, Brs. Patrick and Christian shares with us the different activities of which our student friars participated in, giving us a sketch of the life of a Carmelite simple professed brother.

In all these stories we are made to realize God's bountiful mercy in our brothers' journey.

So, this year, we invite all our brothers and sisters in Carmel to heed the call of our dear Santo Padre and be missionaries of mercy in our own little ways. Let us not show our mercy to others, rather, let us be reflections of God's mercy to all his children.

Happy reading and may you be blessed with our humble experiences in our journey to Carmel's heights.

In sweet remembrance.


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